Community pharmacists who excel at caring for patients also tend to be very good at taking care of business. Whether it’s the commitment to invest in the right resources, the discipline to achieve efficiencies or the vision to follow a strategic plan, practicalities ultimately fuel innovation and long-term success in professional practices.
by Dayle Acorn
While this has always been true, for any profession really, it’s especially true for pharmacy these days. In fact, many would say that the need for better pharmacy management — which occurs at many levels, from the individual staff pharmacist to the corporate executive — has reached critical status.
Provincial governments are mainly behind the growing sense of urgency, but not just because their relentless restructuring of drug plans is taking chunks out of pharmacy’s traditional, product-based revenue streams. Governments are also shaking up the delivery of healthcare in Canada, which opens the door for innovation. This double-edged sword of change can only bode well for the profession if enough pharmacists can confidently take practical steps toward expanded professional services.
Pharmacy Management in Canada, produced by the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy, aims to help equip all pharmacists with the practical tools necessary to navigate change during these very exciting times. It’s been almost 20 years since there’s been a similar resource on managing the business of pharmacy, and Pharmacy Management stands out because it wraps the business side around the central focus of advancing patient care under expanded scopes of practice.
When we first considered the idea of such a publication, the positive response from both pharmacy business leaders and academics was swift and unanimous. Alan Low, Clinical Associate Professor with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia — who has since become one of the textbook’s lead authors — perhaps summed it up best when he said: “I am of the firm belief that the lack of social administration, management and leadership skills are barriers preventing our profession from progressing to patient-focused care…. The therapeutic skills that students learn are great, but they can’t use them if they don’t know how to market their services and be sustainable while delivering them.”
It’s important to emphasize that pharmacy management is for practising pharmacists as well as future pharmacists. While we are pleased to report that faculties of pharmacy are adding the textbook as required reading for students, we are equally pleased by its growing use among pharmacists already in the profession. If you do not already have your copy, we hope to hear from you soon.
Dayle Acorn is executive director of the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy (www.cfpnet.ca), a registered charity dedicated to supporting innovation and leadership to advance the profession of pharmacy.
How to get your copy
With 56 contributing authors and 41 expert reviewers representing academics, practising community pharmacists and management experts, Pharmacy Management in Canada delves into a wide range of topics, from developing a strategic business plan to marketing clinical services. Copies can be purchased for $149 ($109 for students). Orders can be placed through CFP’s website, www.cfpnet.ca.